Saturday, January 19, 2019

We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels

A box of photos, an elderly aunt the main character didn’t know about, and an old house.

Was it fate that Elizabeth had lost her job as a journalist because of a story she was covering?

Was it fate that James Rich found her and wanted her to return some photos to a Nora Balsam?

Was it fate that Elizabeth fell in love with Aunt Nora and with her home the minute she met her and stepped inside the family home?

As the chapters alternate between the three Balsam women, we meet Elizabeth present day as she is finishing up a story and gets fired because of the story and as Elizabeth meets James Rich who has a task for her she doesn’t want to do until she finds out that Nora is her great aunt.

We meet Nora in her younger days and in present time.  Going through her house and seeing the beauty that was once there pulled me in.

We also meet Mary Balsam dating back to 1861 and the first inhabitant of the house Nora now lived in.

I love old photos, old houses, and stories that our older relatives have to tell us about their lives and the time period which they lived in and how they lived.

Elizabeth found all of those things, with the best things being the old house with stories of its own and the stories of the three women's interesting lives.

One problem, though, was that Nora wouldn’t talk about the house or tell any stories at all about her past life.

When Elizabeth finds locked rooms, gravestone markers, and many beds lined up in the attic my interest peaked.

Those readers who enjoy historical fiction, secrets, surprises, and an unraveling of the past will thoroughly enjoy WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS.

And, of course, the characters were simply wonderful.  I didn’t want the book to end because of them.

WE HOPE FOR BETTER THINGS has a warmth that will linger with you and a wonderful history lesson.

Ms Bartels' debut novel has flawless writing and a marvelous story line. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Bookishfirst in exchange for an honest review.


  1. A book I will think about for a while.

    Thanks for stopping.

  2. Replies
    1. was a beautiful read.

      Thanks for commenting, Judy.